15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Santa Rosa, CA

Things to Do with Kids in Santa Rosa, CA
Anzhelika Polyak / shutterstock.com

As the county seat of Sonoma County, California, Santa Rosa is filled with museums, theaters, and performance centers.

You’ll never of cultural activities in this place.

However, that’s not all.

You’ll also be treated to marvelous and breathtaking views if you explore further.

The city has also been home to many interesting and remarkable people over the decades who have left their mark on the community.

If you want to explore further, here are the best things to do with kids in Santa Rosa, California.

Learn Aviation History at the Pacific Coast Air Museum

CrabTree13, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1989, the Pacific Coast Air Museum hosts a unique collection of authentic aircraft that the staff keeps in pristine condition.

Three acres are dedicated just to their outdoor aircraft collection.

You and your family will undoubtedly marvel at their number of pieces.

Try their realistic flight simulator and see what it feels like to be a pilot.

Eugene Zelenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Once you’ve picked your jaws up from the great airplanes they have on display, don’t forget to take the time to explore their aviation and World War 2 memorabilia.

The Pacific Coast Air Museum will renew your interest in aviation history, making it a worthwhile destination.

CrabTree13, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find Your Love for the Ice at Snoopy’s Home Ice

There’s no better place to try ice skating than Snoopy’s Home Ice in Santa Rosa.

As the home to the world’s most famous beagle, this is the perfect place for the entire family to first put on ice skates and step onto the ice.

Once on the ice in one of the general public sessions, remember to bend your knees, keep your feet close together, and not panic too much.

It’s supposed to be fun, after all!

Take some pictures since you’ll have many opportunities to do so while there.

Once you and your family have had your fill, stop by the Warm Puppy Cafe to get a warm drink and a few snacks to end a perfect day at Snoopy’s Home Ice.

Try Recreational Activities at Howarth Park

Howarth Park is one of the many jewels of Santa Rosa.

Situated amid a beautiful lake, this large park provides visitors with a host of recreational activities that they’d love to try out.

You can go boating and fishing with your family or picnic on the grass.

There are also jogging and hiking trails for people who want to exercise.

Howarth Park also has a miniature train ride, pony rides, and an animal farm that your kids should enjoy.

Take Your Kid to the Children's Museum of Sonoma County

The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County inspires creativity and curiosity through joyful and transformative experiences.

There’s a lot your kid can learn there as they go through the numerous exhibits and displays in the building.

Take them to the art studio where they can express and explore their artistic side, or head to the imaginary playground where they can create their own play experience.

There’s also a puppet theater and science and medical lab where children can try out and explore things they usually wouldn’t be able to in their regular schools.

Besides, the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County has a host of other exhibits catering to children's different interests and needs, so check it out and see what they can offer your kids.

Join the Fair at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds

The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is a community gathering place, drawing several people to the Sonoma County Fair.

This August festival is one of the region's most time-honored and beloved traditions.

You won't regret visiting it with your family.

There’s a wide variety of activities to try out, and it’s the perfect way to understand the local culture better.

Join the festivities, and watch their concerts, horse shows, dog shows, and so much more.

If you miss the fair, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds still brims with life at any time of the year.

Follow the Santa Rosa Creek Trail

The Santa Rosa Creek Trail is open from sunrise to sunset, perfect for families looking for a leisurely outdoor destination.

The trail follows Santa Rosa Creek, running for over two miles.

You'll be surrounded by gorgeous views the entire walk.

Thanks to the trees and wildlife around you, you will appreciate the natural world every moment on the trail.

If you want to take a walk with the kids, the Santa Rosa Creek Trail should be one of your top picks.

Explore the Wilderness at Safari West

Safari West has always prided itself on prioritizing animals above everything else.

Their mission is to promote conservation and environmental education while teaching people to make well-informed decisions regarding the environment and wildlife conservation.

You’ll get the chance to interact with different kinds of wild animals; maybe you can see a cheetah or look at a rhinoceros up close.

*~Dawn~*, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You and your family can ride in a vehicle as you explore, and you can lose yourself in the fantasy of being experienced safari explorers.

If you want to savor the experience, Safari West also has overnight accommodations you can use to feel like a true wildlife adventurer.

MJLepper, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch the Wonderful Performances at 6th Street Playhouse

The 6th Street Playhouse is mainly an educational studio for aspiring performers and theater crews who are just starting or don’t have much trade experience.

However, that doesn’t mean that their productions aren’t up to professional standards—quite the opposite.

Catching a show there is an exciting experience, with performances filled with youth and passion that you won’t find anywhere else.

They host various productions throughout the year, some beloved Broadway classics and others new and exciting plays.

If you’re ever in the area, give the 6th Street Playhouse a shot, and you may discover new and up-and-coming theater talents while you’re there.

Explore the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

Charles M. Schulz is the artist behind the iconic characters of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is dedicated to giving depth and life to his great work.

You’ll find Schulz’s original comic strips, his artifacts, and a library of Peanuts books.

You and your family can also view the original art through a Strip Rotation Gallery.

BrokenSphere, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s also a gift shop where you can get Snoopy or Charlie Brown merchandise that you and your kids can enjoy.

The Peanuts Gang is an integral part of many people’s childhoods.

Moreover, a trip to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center should introduce your kids to the beautiful world of Peanuts.

BrokenSphere, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Camping at Spring Lake Regional Park

Spring Lake Regional Park is a 320-acre park perfect for camping, fishing, and weekend barbecues.

It’s one of the most popular parks in Santa Rosa, and it has a host of amenities designed to make your visit as carefree and easygoing as possible.

If you and your family love exploring the outdoors, you may want to check out the nearly ten miles of trail in the park.

One of the best trails to walk along is the multi-use trail, designed to accommodate walkers, bikers, and runners and is NDA accessible.

There are also various unpaved trails in the area, such as the Fisherman’s Trail and the Horseloop, if you’re looking for places with fewer people and foot traffic.

Besides walking around and going on picnics with your companions, you can also head to the swimming lagoon and cool off by taking a little dip with your kids.

It’s only open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, so plan accordingly if you want to try it out.

Spring Lake Regional Park is huge.

There are about a hundred different things you can do when you’re there, so leave some room for spontaneity in your schedule.

Appreciate the Arts at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is a fantastic destination for families looking for world-class performances, contemporary visual arts exhibits, and other artistic endeavors.

Standing at the heart of the county, the place is where people can come together to appreciate and treasure local, national, and international artistic talent.

From ballet performances to jazz concerts, there’s always an exciting show you and the family will love.

You can even catch emotional plays or comedy sketches there.

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is a must in your travel itinerary if you're looking for a little more culture.

Have Fun at the Poppy Bank Epicenter

The Poppy Bank Epicenter is the place you’re looking for if you want a wholly dedicated space for pure and unadulterated fun.

Whether you’re looking to win some games at the arcade or have a family match of laser tag, they’ve got you covered!

There’s even a trampoline area where you and your family can bounce around to your heart’s content and release all your excess energy.

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try axe throwing and see if you’ve got the chops.

For virtual reality fans out there, their VR will show you numerous new worlds you can experience with your kids.

There are endless things to do at the Poppy Bank Epicenter, and everyone in the family will have a good time exploring its numerous activities.

Walk among the Flowers at the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens

The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens is a great place to go if you’re looking for peace with your family.

This place is where the world-renowned horticulturist Luther Burbank lived and experimented with his plants for his 50-year-long career, and its caretakers are continuing his legacy to this day.

The gardens are lovely and breathtaking, filled with exotic and colorful flowers that should amaze and astound you and your family.

Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to relax.

Walking around the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, among the beautiful flowers and in the company of your beloved family, can cheer up anyone who needs it.

Enjoy the Breathtaking View of Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

The Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve offer a panoramic view of the city right from the beginning of the trails up until the very peak of the mountain.

A hike or a bicycle ride through the mountains may be what the family needs to escape all the stress and pressure of city life.

Walk through the glassy hillsides, breathe in the fresh air, and lose yourself in the beauty of nature.

It’s a great way to let go of all your worries and reconnect with your family.

Take the time to learn more about your kids, interests, and hobbies.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you can also try horseback riding and go on your little adventure.

Otherwise, you can picnic under the warm afternoon sun with the people you love.

The Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve have everything you can need for a short outdoor getaway.

Check Out the Museum of Sonoma County

Sanfranman59, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you head to downtown Santa Rosa, you might want to visit the Museum of Sonoma County.

The place opened in 1985, and its primary mission has always been to engage and inspire its diverse community with art and history exhibitions, collections, and public programs.

Once inside, you’ll have an entire world to explore at your fingertips.

Take one of their guided tours and let their docents lead you through their exhibitions and teach you the many things you can learn about the displays.

The Museum of Sonoma County is a place of learning, and there are undoubtedly many things to learn through its exhibits.

Final Thoughts

Santa Rosa is filled to the brim with life and culture, and anyone visiting will only get a small taste of what they offer.

What’s not to love?

Bring your family and enjoy the best things to do with kids in Santa Rosa, California!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.